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Falls are a common but often overlooked source of injury. Slip and trip accidents account for around 50% of all reported major injuries. Over 90% of these major injuries result in broken bones. Slips and trips can also be the initial cause of a range of other accident types such as scalding or falls from height.

Groups at risk

Everyone is potentially at risk of having a fall, but certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others. These groups are:

  • adults who are over 65
  • children
  • people whose jobs involve working at heights

Older adults

Some older adults have a combination of health-related factors that increase their risk of having a fall, such as:

  • muscle weakness
  • problems with balance and mobility
  • poor eyesight

Around 30% of adults who are over 65 and who are living in the community will experience at least one fall a year. This figure rises to 50% for those who are living in nursing homes or residential care.

Not all falls will result in injury, but a significant minority do. For example, 20% of older adults will require medical attention for a fall, and 5% will experience a serious injury, such as a fracture.

Falls can also have an adverse psychological impact, particularly on elderly people. A fall can sometimes result in a person losing confidence, becoming withdrawn and feeling like they have lost their independence.


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